Please note that this post is from 2004. It is ancient history, preserved for accountability and transparency. Views expressed in this post do no represent my current attitudes.
– Jer, 2018
Why is it that I always end up in arguments? And why do people invariably perceive me as this raging monster of an argument inciter?
Case Study: Toilet Seat.
1. General Public
The commonly held view on the subject of “toilet seats” is that they should be down. Not necessarily always down, but that if there is to be a default, down should be it. The reasons cited for this (certain, mal-adjusted cat dwellings aside) always center around the status of women as toilet users, and the necessity of it being down for their use of it. It is thought that because women “have” to have it down, it is the responsibility of all individuals to maintain it in such a state so long as there are likely to be females present.
Obviously this is not the standard in, for example, a frat house, where women, in the vast minority, are left to fend for themselves, but seems to be the standard up to and including 2/1 man to woman ratios. Also in favor of this opinion, which seems to be held by everyone, everywhere in Canada at least, is the “falling in” theory, which speculates that a relevant number of females accidentally “fall in” to toilet bowls inadequately covered by seats.
Now, it seems to me that this entire system is not only at it’s heart sexist, but also poses an unnacceptable nuissance to males everywhere. It is a relic of the patriarchal era of “chivalry” in which “gentlemen” acted in a certain fashion in the presence and in relation to “the fairer sex”. Now this heady discussion of gender politics may seem over the top, and irrelevant to the topic at hand, but nothing could be further from the truth.
What reason do men have to consider the toilet-seat needs of women over their own beyond sexist notions of work and politeness? The fact of the matter is that each and every human (western-toilet using human that is) is obligated to perform one movement each time they use the toilet after someone of the opposite sex. Every man, before urinating, and if a woman has last used the toilet, has to lift the seat. Likewise (and 100% fairly) every woman, when using a bathroom in which a man has recently urinated, must lower the seat. It is an entirely fair and 1/1 trade off.
Why should the entire task of touching the seat be delegated to men? So that the women can keep their delicate hands clean? Because men are stronger, and have less trouble with the weight? If these answers seem absurd and antagonizing to you, then just ask yourself what reasons you have for believing that I am wrong (and you probably do, fucker). Our cultural policy of toilet seat duty delegation may seem unimportant and trivial, but it is in fact signatory of an entire undercurrent of sexism that still very much exists in our society, and which is completely unfair, if only because men, who were more than willing to perform in the past, when the woman would ultimately become his slave, are now being unfairly treated, and are expected to go far beyond the call of duty.
Also, everybody poops, and when we do the seat goes down, and men certainly aren’t seeing the seatist benefits of this universal activity.
Do I really pick fights for no reason? Are the subjects I choose to defend stupid and pointless? No. They are absurd and unusual, but they must be relevant. They must be.